Spikes Sidelights | No random networking

19 Sep,2011

By Chhaya Balachandran Aiyer
It was an insightful weekend at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore reviewing some of the best works from across Asia. But before I get to that, let me say that the dinner on the evening before we actually sat together to review the work, helped to get together and know one another, be familiar with the professional backgrounds to set the pace of views and reviews that would be relevant over the next two days.

Rather than an informal dinner setting I appreciated how Spikes Asia had organized a sit down dinner where each jury was assigned their table to group together with their co-members. So there was no random networking, and no one was left out of the conversation. It was a very
productive dinner so to speak.

The next two days we started really early, well yes by Indian Standard Time, it was a 6 a.m. Fortunately I was able to be wide awake for the prospect of reviewing work with people across the Asian region was definitely exciting, plus to have anyone from Crispin Porter + Bogusky to chair the meet was an equally if not more exciting prospect. And Jeff Benjamin, chief creative officer CPB, the jury chair, was someone I did learn from over the last two days. I was humbled of course by the kind of work that rest of Asia is producing. And yes, barring an idea or two, saw how far away we in India are from thinking beyond getting the basic’s right, executing great ideas, and presenting stuff in a manner that can capture the juror’s attention.

We had some fun during the day of course. There was the jury photo shoot where the jury chair more than we women on the jury was concerned about the effect of blowing wind and his flying hair, and well, when a couple of guys decided that the silence from the next jury room was killing. So a `help me’ note was slipped under the door, a lot of sound effects were created so it would get noticed and we get some reaction, but the note was totally ignored :P.

Finally the day was over. We finished with champagne by the poolside last evening after we had finally decided on the metals. It was refreshing. Jeff ordered some Singapore Sling shots, to top it, and that was a nice lift to the end of the day.

Hope to catch up on the some of the sessions today at the Festival, and some of the after dark parties organized by some of the agencies here in Singapore this evening.

Chhaya Balachandran Aiyer is founder and managing director, BC Web Wise

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